Iranian Envoy Warns UK to Contain Firebrands after Oil Tankers Row
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to Britain cautioned the UK government against attempts by domestic British parties trying to escalate the already tense relations between Tehran and London amid rows over the recent capture of oil tankers.
“UK government should contain those domestic political forces who want to escalate existing tension between Iran and the UK well beyond the issue of ships,” Hamid Baeidinejad said in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday.
“This is quite dangerous and unwise at a sensitive time in the region. Iran however is firm and ready for different scenarios,” the ambassador underlined.
His comments came after British Foreign Secretary criticized Iran for capturing a UK oil tanker that violated international maritime regulations when passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
Hunt said Tehran’s move showed “worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilizing behavior after Gibraltar’s legal detention of oil bound for Syria.”
On July 4, the British Royal Marines seized Iran’s oil tanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar for trying to take oil to Syria allegedly in violation of EU sanctions.
Tehran maintains that the supertanker was not bound for Syria and its seizure has taken place at the behest of the US.
In remarks on July 16, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei warned the “vicious” British government that the capture of Iran’s oil tanker in international waters would not remain unanswered.
“They (the UK), whose wickedness is clear to everyone, have stolen our ship in an act of maritime banditry, but try to portray the capture as legal,” the Leader deplored.
“However, the pious elements in the Islamic Republic will not let such moves go unanswered, and will respond in the appropriate time and place,” Ayatollah Khamenei had warned.
On July 19, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy captured British oil tanker “Stena Impero” for violating international maritime laws when crossing the high-traffic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
The UK vessel had switched off its GPS locator, in contravention of international regulations, and was sailing into the Strait of Hormuz in a wrong traffic pattern.
The British tanker was entering the strait from the southern route which is an exit path, increasing the risk of an accident
Moreover, Stena Impero had not heeded any of the warnings from the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization.
An informed source said the UK oil tanker was also polluting the Persian Gulf water heavily by dumping crude oil residue.
The IRGC Navy captured the British oil tanker at the request of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran’s office in the province of Hormozgan.
The oil tanker has been transferred to the Iranian coast for the necessary legal procedures.